Capturing the moment
29 July 2019 | Burnett River, Burnett Heads, Queensland, Australia.
Out of all the passages crossing oceans, sailing between Islands and cruising on Annecam, we have sailed in almost all types of weather systems, some good, some almost dead calm and there have been a few that have been downright frightening.
We have had severe thunderstorms break right on top of us, water spouts run over us and tropical rain squalls try to rip our sails and rigging off but by far the best or I should say the worst weather system we have ever had the displeasure of sailing into was right in the middle of the Caribbean Sea.
We had planned to leave the Caribbean Islands, sailing from the west end of Puerto Rico and head straight for the Panama Canal. This was to be about a one thousand nautical mile passage from start to finish, it should have taken us 6 to 7 days to complete.
We had already sailed for just on two and a half days in very calm seas, it was that calm we had to motor sail just to keep moving. The weather forecast we started in was for exactly that, I was obtaining weather up-dates via Predict Wind on our Iridium Go, this was about to change.
Halfway through the third day at sea we received a weather forecast for building winds, up to 35 knots for the next 24 hours and a slight increase on the wind speed for the next 48 hours after that.
Increase it did, as we soon found our selves reducing sail to about 15% of our poled-out genoa and about 5% of our main with a preventer on the boom and after dark we reduced even further as we found ourselves in 48knots with gusts over 70. This produced a gnarly breaking sea state. Annecam just kept flying along on autopilot and never let go once, it kept up at all times even after we had the mast kiss the water on five separate occasions, looking back I still cant believe that we had zero breakages except for one laptop computer that was sent flying across the cabin, smashing into several pieces as it collided with the rear portside head door.
We changed our destination to Cartagena Colombia to escape this system.
This weather system was going to be our best sail ever, as we made over 242 nautical miles in 24 hours, we had an average of over 10 knots and a recorded top of 18.2 knots on almost bare polls. Trying to capture the sea state on video is almost impossible as every time the video makes the sea look like a duck pond compared to what it was really like.
The photo is our reduced sail area.
"Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace & gratitude."
This is a short video of Annecam crossing the Caribbean Sea.